Basel Convention launches

new initiative on computing equipment

Bali, 27 June 2008 – The Basel Convention launched the PACE initiative today, the Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment, to tackle the management of obsolete and used computers.

The launch of PACE is one of the outcomes of the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention, hosted by the Government of Indonesia, which finishes today.

PACE brings together the Secretariat of the Basel Convention, industry (through several industry associations) and civil society to establish methods to divert used and obsolete computers away from land disposal and burning into commercial recovery operations.

PACE will also develop technical guidelines for proper repair, refurbishing and recycling, including criteria for testing, labeling of refurbished computing equipment and certification of environmentally sound repair, refurbishment and recycling facilities.

The activities undertaken through PACE will offer expert advice, guidance and networking to support and build confidence in sustainable commercial practices with social, economic and environmental benefits to all participants.

Why is there a need for PACE?

Personal computing has improved the lives of people everywhere. As markets expand and communities gain the benefits of increased access to information technology, many developing countries face new challenges in managing electronic products at their en-of-life. All stakeholders, including original equipment manufacturers, consumers and recyclers, have a role in promoting environmentally sound management of used and end-of-life equipment.

Fortunately, sound environmental management is achievable and can be expanded. The technology and skills are available to promote proper repair and refurbishment that can extend use, provide employment, and make valuable equipment available to the poor. Sound material recoverycan reclaim base and precious metals, and conserve resources and energy.

One hundred tons of end-of-life computers can generate up to 39 tons of steel and 21 tons of other metals such as copper, aluminum and gold.

Benefits of PACE

PACE provides a forum for governments, industry leaders, non-governmental organizations and academia to improve the current management of used and end-of-life computing equipment through the development of global recycling and refurbishment guidelines on the environmentally sound management of computing equipment, in addition to other tools and activities.

Note to journalists:

The 1989 Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal has two pillars; first, it regulates the transboundary movements of hazardous and other wastes. Second, the Convention obliges its Parties to ensure that such wastes are managed and disposed of in an environmentally sound manner (ESM). To this end, Parties are required to minimize the quantities that are moved across borders, to treat and dispose of wastes as close as possible to their place of generation and to prevent or minimize the generation of wastes at source. Strong controls have to be applied from the generation of a hazardous waste to its storage, transport, treatment, reuse, recycling, recovery and final disposal.

For more information please contact:

In Jakarta; Mr. Dida Gardera, Public Relations Manager, State Ministry Of Environment mobile: +62 812 1892951, email: ,

In Geneva; Ms. Nicole Dawe, Information Officer, tel: +41 22 917 82 20, email:

Please also consult: and